From the Mailbox 2.0

We’re getting a bunch of goodies in our inbox these days.

Aggie Villanueva dropped us a line about the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week.  She has a request:

“Hello all. I’m doing a live interview with Angela Maycock, Assistant Director at the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom about their annual Banned Books Week and year-round work. The interview is next Wednesday, September 23, 2009, at 1 pm US Mountain Time. All questions/comments welcome live at this call-in number: (646) 595-4756. Or e-mail them to me beforehand at: myaggie2 at gmail dot com. I would love it if you could attend by phone, or even e-mail me a question/comment. Thanks so much for your time.”

Banned Book Week is September 26 through October 3 this year:

Banned Books Week (BBW): Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year. Observed since 1982, this annual ALA event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted. BBW celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them.

My contacts with the Libarian Mafia sent me the Twitter address for Merriam-Webster’s lexicographer.  Peter Sokolowski has the most fascinating job in the world if you are a word junkie, and his Tweets are addictive.  Check out Peter’s Twitter page:

Also, the head Library capo sent me the link to a study about why the New York Times’ readers need more than a seventh-grade education to read it:

If The New York Times ever strikes you as an abstruse glut of antediluvian perorations, if the newspaper’s profligacy of neologisms and shibboleths ever set off apoplectic paroxysms in you, if it all seems a bit recondite, here’s a reason to be sanguine: The Times has great data on the words that send readers in search of a dictionary.

The article lists the 50 most frequently looked-up words in the NYTs databases.  I’ve always wondered why the word louche often ends up in stories about contemporary culture, and now I know I can blame Maureen Dowd.

This isn’t from the WU mailbox, but the Washington Post has a insightful article about Oprah’s latest book club pick, and the secrecy and hoopla surrounding it. 

Winfrey’s picks are hush-hush in a big-time, spy-level way. Execs at book companies sign affidavits affirming they won’t breathe a word about the chosen title, and publishing companies send off the books in discreet boxes tagged with fake ISBN numbers.

Safe to say, if Oprah picks your book, you can be guaranteed of a bestseller, as much as this business guarantees sales.

Write on, my friends.



About Kathleen Bolton

Kathleen Bolton is co-founder of Writer Unboxed. She writes under a variety of pseudonyms, including Ani Bolton. She has written two novels as Cassidy Calloway: Confessions of a First Daughter, and Secrets of a First Daughter--both books in a YA series about the misadventures of the U.S. President's teen-aged daughter, published by HarperCollins, and Tamara Blake, for the novel Slumber.